You’ve heard the doom and gloom. Phil Knight said, not even Tiger in his prime, could make Nike golf equipment profitable. Golf sales are down 20% for the year and earlier this month, the Women’s U.S. Open drew its lowest television audience ever. Topgolf, a high-tech driving range/lounge, may be changing the narrative. The millennial hotspot, which eliminates many of the obstacles young people associate with golf (time commitment, equipment costs, membership fees etc.), saw 10 million visitors in 2016 and has plans to grow from 30 to 40 U.S. locations this year. While the company is private, you can play the market via Callaway Golf (ELY), which purchased a 20% stake in the company in 2006.
Howie Long-Short opines: The technology is pretty cool, and I’ve heard the food is good. I found it a bit too gimmicky to want to come more than once though. Callaway (ELY) has done well with their minority investment.
Fan Marino says: Shocking to think millennials are into something that requires minimal time commitment, includes components of video game play and can be done while consuming alcohol beverages. Wild concept.